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Prairie Pedagogy: A Country Christmas Celebration

Prairie Pedagogy: A Country Christmas Celebration

December 21, 2019

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Yes, these one and two-room country schools in our area still have Christmas school programs, which some of you may remember from decades ago.  Lots of stories, music, dancing, families, and fun: All in the basement of tiny little schools.  The kids read, write, create, memorize, and rehearse while their teachers are working hard to stay ahead of them at this busy time of year.  Teachers, you know the intense schedule before December holiday, and now add to that a program to create for families.   Thank you to all of the teachers, who take the extra energy and expertise to create these programs for families.

In this WinkWorld, Missy Urbaniak, the sole teacher of Atall School, also found time to write this blog post about their program and to share these photos. Thank you, Missy.

“Santa’s Stuck in the 50’s” written by Sally K. Albrecht and Jay Althouse, which is available from  For Atall, Missy adapted the story to fit the context.

Mrs. Claus and the kids are singing “A Whole Lotta Cleaning Going On” based on Little  Richard’s famed song.

Soon, Santa entered the stage, and the elves were allowed to open some boxes, where they find: Barbies, Matchbox cars, yo-yo’s, poodle skirts, Play-Doh, Silly Putty, an Erector set,  Mr. Potato Head, Mickey Mouse toys, Hula Hoops, and even pink plastic flamingos.

Soon, the elves discover a box of old musical records, and Mrs. Claus suggests a sock-hop. “Rock Around the Shop” with hand jive motions follows this discovering.

After the rocking good time, Santa and Mrs. Claus hint that the kids will receive a special ’50s surprise in exchange for letters telling how good they have been this year.  Mrs. Claus even squeezes in a few lines from “Gifts Come From the Heart.” And, of course, the kids love the Patricia Polacco story of “Gifts of the Heart.”

At one point in the drama, Santa requests that the kids stop writing letters to him, and Brock Rockman of radio station WXMAS does a live interview with Santa.

The play ends happily when the kids learn that Santa will continue to deliver their gifts.

Atall Alums

And, of course, some of our “big” kids, who now drive 50 m. to high school in Sturgis, came home to celebrate their younger brothers and sisters.  Oh, how we miss the K-8 country kids when they begin high school in far away places.

Thanks for sharing, Missy.




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